When the Duchess of Cambridge met 15-year-old leukaemia patient Zakwan Anuar during her Malaysia tour, the youngster stole her heart.
Now, less than a month after heartwarming images of her signing his birthday card made the world smile, Zakwan has finally lost his brave battle with the disease.
After aides gently broke the news to the Duchess and husband Prince William, the royal couple officially expressed their sympathies.
"The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are saddened to hear of Zakwan's death. Their thoughts are with his family," a St James's Palace spokeswoman said.
Kate made a connection with Zakwan during a visit to Hospis Malaysia, where she toured the facilities and gave her first speech on foreign soil.
But it was her meeting with the teenager that made the engagement memorable.
The brunette paid particular attention to his situation and spent a long time chatting with the little boy, telling him he was "very, very brave" and "very handsome".
The Duchess also left the 15-year-old a precious memento – a signed birthday card which read: "Happy Birthday Zakwan, Catherine."
Zakwan's mother Norizan, 47, told The Sun that the "overwhelming" encounter lit up her son's last days. She added: "I hope William and Kate will have beautiful and healthy children of their own one day,"
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